Presidents praise ties, sign friendship treaty

Updated: 2015-05-11 06:56

By XING ZHIGANG in Minsk, Belarus andZHANGYUNBI in Beijing(China Daily)

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Presidents praise ties, sign friendship treaty

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) shakes hands with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during the signing of a treaty of friendship and cooperation and a joint statement on deepening cooperation after their talks in Minsk, May 10, 2015. Xi arrived on Sunday for a three-day state visit to Belarus, the first by a Chinese head of state in 14 years. [Photo/Xinhua]

Yang Cheng, deputy director of the Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, said new express routes connecting Europe and Asia are taking shape as the Silk Road progresses, and this will make countries such as Belarus become "better involved in the globalized market".

As one of the stops on the routes, "Belarus will get increasing profits from the flow of trade, and its new investments and industrial transformation will be achieved", Yang said.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing by departments and enterprises of a number of documents covering cooperation in areas including the economy, trade, customs, and agriculture.

Air China began direct flights from Beijing to Minsk on May 1.

Cui Qiming, the Chinese ambassador to Belarus, said the launch of the economic belt has "brought about major opportunities for developing ties", and "the unique geographic advantages of Belarus should be fully tapped into".

In an article by the ambassador in People's Daily, Cui confirmed that major programs between the two countries "have been progressing smoothly", and gave the industrial park and the development of power plants as examples.

There are "robust driving forces behind the developing bilateral pragmatic cooperation", Cui said.

Xi is also expected to meet Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov and other Belarusian leaders during the visit. He plans to attend the opening ceremony of the China-Belarus Local Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum and inspect the industrial park.

Xi's schedule also includes visit to the Belarusian Great Patriotic War Museum, and a meeting with the representatives of Belarusian veterans of World War II.

Xi's visit will also play a significant role in helping the China-Belarus comprehensive strategic partnership to build on the past, usher in the future and open up a new chapter, Cheng said.

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